October 1st, 2014

BYO War Wagon — Shooting Trailer for Varmint Safaris

In our Shooters’ Forum thread about Portable Shooting Benches, Forum member John H. of New Mexico (aka “Skratch”) showed off a nicely-crafted mobile shooting bench that he can haul with his ATV. This trailer-mounted, movable bench is built on a central tubular spine that also serves as the tongue for the trailer, which attaches to a standard hitch. The bench offers two (2) shooting positions so it works for both left-handed and right-handed shooters.

Shooting Varmint Bench Trailer

Up front, for storage, a surplus .50-Cal ammo can is secured to the trailer frame. The V-shaped middle section of the wood benchtop looks to be reinforced with a metal stiffener frame on the underside. The front section of the bench is supported by twin tubular uprights attached to the box-section axle housing. The two wooden bench-style seats (on left and right) ride on a cross-tube. At the ends of that cross-tube are adjustable legs for additional support.

Shooting Varmint Bench Trailer

Great Rig for New Mexico Varmint Hunting
There are plenty of great varmint hunting areas in Skratch’s home state of New Mexico — you’ll find some huge prairie dog fields there. But to get the best results on a varmint-hunting field session, you need a solid shooting station that can be easily hauled to new locations as needed. It looks like John (aka “Scratch”) has come up with an outstanding “War Wagon” for his New Mexico varmint safaris.

Click on image frames to see full-size photos

Some readers wanted to know how John’s War Wagon is positioned in the field and if it is ever detached from John’s ATV. John answers: “We do unhook the 4-wheeler for target-checking unless we have an extra along which is usually the case. That way we can level the table front to rear. We have an umbrella from a patio table to provide shade on extra warm days.”

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting Post comment »
October 1st, 2014

Long Range Shooting Made Easy (New Video)

Accuracy 1st Development Group, a training operation based in Texas, will soon release a new instructional video: Long Range Made Easy. This training video features Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting. Many of the shooters shown in the video use the new ABM ammo developed by Bryan’s Applied Ballistics lab for Berger Bullets. Check out the preview “trailer” for Long Range Made Easy.

Watch Trailer for “Long Range Made Easy”

Accuracy 1st Development Group

Accuracy 1st Development Group

Accuracy 1st Scope Levels
Accuracy 1st also sells some interesting products for precision rifle shooters. Check out this unique, curved-vial scope leveler ring. More precise and sensitive than other scope levels, the Accuracy 1st leveling device can detect 1° of cant. Displayed line increments represent 2.5° of cant.

Scope Level – Tan Matte Teflon
Including 30mm Reducer Ring
Scope Level – Black Anodized Aluminum
34 Ring Size
Scope Lever Ring Accuracy 1st Scope Lever Ring Accuracy 1st

You may wonder: “Why are these scope levels better than other similar products?” Accuracy 1st explains: “Our levels are of the highest quality and accuracy. Some scope level manufacturers use plastic housings, air bubbles and sub-par glass in their vials. In lieu of a straight bubble vial, Accuracy 1st utilizes a custom curved vial featuring medical-grade glass and a ceramic ball. The use of the ceramic ball eliminates the inherent flaws associated with air bubble levels, which at higher temperatures and pressure will compromise the bubble size causing level inaccuracies. Typically air bubble levels require 3° to 5° [tilt] to even register movement. By contrast, the Accuracy 1st custom level will read movement at a minimum of 1° and will extend measurements out to +/- 10°.”

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills Post comment »
October 1st, 2014

Get Blue Book of Gun Values for Just $9.99 at Midsouth

The Blue Book of Gun Values is the leading price authority for both modern and antique firearms. With over 2400 pages of information, the Blue Book is an invaluable resource for any serious firearm collector. And even if you own just a few guns (or inherit a collectible firearm), the Blue Book can provide reliable values for insurance and resale purposes. The Blue Book eliminates guesswork when selling old or unusual arms.

The latest 35th (2014) Edition of the Blue Book costs $39.42 at Amazon.com. That’s not bad, considering the vast amount of info you get. But consider this, you can now get last year’s Blue Book for just $9.99. That’s right, you can get the 2013 34th Edition of the Blue Book for under ten bucks. Right now, Midsouth Shooters Supply has the Blue Book of Gun Values (34th Edition) on sale for $9.99. That’s a rock bottom price — so order soon. Supplies are limited.

Blue Book of Gun Values 34th 35th sale Midsouth Shooters Supply

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals 1 Comment »
September 30th, 2014

Shooting Matches, Magic Bullets Highlight Der Freischütz Opera

Der Freischutz rifle shooting operaNot an opera fan? Well you should be. Here’s an interesting bit of trivia. Did you know that one of the most famous German operas is all about competitive rifle shooting? Believe it or not, the popular von Weber opera Der Freischütz (“The Marksman”), features shooting matches and precision bullet-making.

The opera’s story should “strike a chord” with our readers. In order to win an important shooting match, the hero, Max, casts seven “Magic Bullets”. He is lured into this occult reloading practice by a fellow shooter with a hidden, not-so-nice agenda. (Sound familiar you guys?) But what our hero Max doesn’t realize is that the devil is at work, and if Max uses the magic bullets at the big match he will forfeit his soul and suffer eternal damnation. Lesson to our readers — don’t try to win matches with Magic Bullets. CLICK HERE for the full story…

The overture and the Jägerchor (“Hunters’ Chorus”) from Act 3 of Der Freischütz are often performed as concert pieces. Listen to a stirring performance of the Jägerchor in the video below. This features full orchestra, mass male choir, and the ‘Jagdhornverein Edelweiss’ horns. You’ll enjoy it…

Jägerchor (Hunters’ Chorus) from Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber
Andre Rieu with the ‘Jagdhornverein Edelweiss’ and the Männerchor ‘Maastrichter-Staar’.

Der Freischutz rifle shooting operaDer Freischütz (usually translated as “The Marksman” or “The Freeshooter”) is an opera in three acts by Carl Maria von Weber, with libretto by Friedrich Kind. It premiered on 18 June 1821 at the Schauspielhaus, Berlin. It is considered the first important German Romantic opera. The plot is based on the German folk legend of the Freischütz and many of its tunes were inspired by German folk music. Despite its daring innovations, it quickly became an international success, with some 50 performances in the first 18 months after the premiere. Among the many artists influenced by Der Freischütz was a young Richard Wagner.

Der Freischutz rifle shooting opera

Jägerchor (Hunters’ Chorus) — full version with procession of ‘Jagdhornverein Edelweiss’ in Maastricht.

Top Der Freischutz illustration from a Gruselkabinette CD (Episode 15) sold byTitania Medien.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 6 Comments »
September 30th, 2014

Lapua .308 Win Brass on Sale at Bullets.com

Do you shoot a .308 Winchester (and who doesn’t)? Well here’s a great deal on Lapua .308 Win brass, the best you can buy. Ultra-consistent, Lapua brass stays strong for many reloading cycles, even with stout loads. Lapua is the choice of most F-TR competitors who shoot the .308 Win in competition.

The .308 Win Palma version brass (item BL11071) features small primer pockets. Some people believe the small primer pockets help the cases deliver a lower Extreme Spread (ES) and (maybe) withstand high pressures for more loading cycles. YMMV, but we do like the small-primer-pocket .308 Win Lapua brass and it’s our first choice for target applications.

Lapua .308 Win Brass

Both types of Lapua .308 Winchester brass are now available at very attractive prices from Bullets.com: $61.95 for large primer pocket brass, $69.95 for small pocket brass. This cartridge brass is in stock today and ready to ship. CLICK HERE to order.

10/1/2014 Update: Sale Inventories of the Small Primer Pocket .308 Win Palma brass are sold out. You can still buy this brass, but the regular price is $79.95 per 100 cases.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
September 30th, 2014

Nightforce Sale on Hunting and Tactical Scopes — Save Hundreds

Nightforce scope optics sale discount

Being in such high demand, current-model Nightforce scopes rarely go on sale. But right now, Nightforce is running a 2014 Fall Hunting Promotion with dramatic price reductions. You can save hundreds of dollars on popular SHV and NXS scopes with low to medium magnification levels. For example, the SHV 4-14x56mm, with MOAR reticle and center illumination is marked down from $1,128.00 to $1,016.99. And the savings are even bigger with First Focal Plane NXS models. The NXS 3.5-15x50mm F1 with ZeroStop, 1/4 MOA clicks and NP-RF1 reticle has been marked down from $2,543.00 to $2,160.00 — a $383.00 savings. CLICK HERE to see all discounts.

Nightforce scope optics sale discount

Nightforce scope optics sale discount

Promo Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics Post comment »
September 29th, 2014

You Can’t Shoot What You Can’t See

“All dressed up and nowhere to go” was the comment our IT guy, Jay Christopherson, sent with this photo. This is Jay’s testing set-up at his home range, complete with PVM-21 chronograph and wireless target-cam. The camera signal is sent, via WiFi, to Jay’s laptop computer. However, even with all that high-tech electronic gear, you can’t make the shot if you can’t see the target through the rifle-scope. On this morning, heavy ground fog completely obscured the target. Jay told us: “I ended up waiting a little over an hour for the fog to burn off enough so that I could see the 600-yard target. What was funny was that I had a perfectly clear picture of the target via the target-cam and monitor. But there was no way to aim the rifle since the riflescope showed nothing but fog.”

PVM-21 Target Cam Camera Labradar Video Fog F-class Washington Jay

This photo was taken by Jay at the Cascade Shooting Facility in Ravensdale, WA. The rifle is Jay’s .284 Shehane F-Class rifle. Jay was testing primers for Extreme Spread (ES) variation around 9:00 am. Nature was not cooperating. Jay was running Hodgdon H4831sc and testing various primers to see which provided the best numbers.

The chronograph is the Kurzzheit PVM-21. Equipped with infrared sensors, the PVM-21 is our “go-to” chron for most velocity testing, with an Oehler 35P for “back-up”. The PVM-21 (now updated with Kurzzheit’s BMC-19 model) sets up quickly and gives reliable results in any light conditions. But there is something even more sophisticated on the horizon — the new Labradar, a “stand-off” chronograph that uses Doppler radar to measure bullet speed.

PVM-21 Target Cam Camera Labradar Video Fog F-class Washington Jay

Jay explains: “I am (somewhat) patiently waiting for the new Labradar to release. The PVM-21 works pretty well most of the time and is easy to setup. I do get odd readings out of it every so often, but they are pretty obvious when they occur.” The advantage of the Labradar (if it ever comes to market) is that the unit sits to the left or right of the rifle. The Labradar is situated out of the bullet path, so there is no chance of shooting the chronograph by accident. Another advantage of the Labradar is that you can set it up without needing to go forward of the firing line, which would require a safety break.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
September 29th, 2014

Disabled Persons Enjoy Ohio Day at the Range

As part of the Ohio Day at the Range program, CMP volunteers provided training in Air Rifle shooting and Archery for persons with disabilities. For the participants, some wheel-chair-bound, this was a special event. Though they may not be able to run or jump, they CAN shoot a rifle from a rest. This type of event gives disabled youngsters and adults a chance to enjoy a sport just as able-bodied persons do. We commend the CMP and all those who helped make the Day at the Range a memorable event.

disability disabled ohio day range

As reported in the BCSN Blade Blog, this program gave participants a chance to learn outdoor skills: “The whole purpose of this is to show that anybody has the ability to hunt, fish, camp — do anything they want to do in the outdoors,” said Tory Thompson, Outreach Director for The Ability Center of Greater Toledo, Ohio. “We want these individuals and their family members to see that the opportunity is there. It will be very gratifying to see that moment when they get to experience something they thought they would never be able to do because of their disability — We hope this opens their eyes and lets everyone see past the stereotypes.”

disability disabled ohio day range

disability disabled ohio day range

disability disabled ohio day range

disability disabled ohio day range

Permalink News 1 Comment »
September 29th, 2014

Power of the Progressive — When You Need the Speed

When you need ammo fast — lots of ammo, it’s hard to beat a progressive reloading press for output. We use progressive presses to load handgun ammo and .223 Rem cartridges for varmint safaris. With good dies, and proper press set-up, today’s progressive presses can produce surprisingly uniform and accurate ammo. No, you won’t see Benchrest Hall-of-Famers loading PPC cartridges on progressives. However, if you need 1000 rounds for your next prairie dog adventure, you should consider getting a progressive. Below you can see a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP configured to load .308 Winchester in bulk.

Hornady .308 winchester lock-n-load progressive press

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article

ultimate reloader progressive

UltimateReloader.com has published helpful Tips to Optimize Progressive Rifle Loading. No matter whether you have a Red (Hornady), Green (RCBS), or Blue (Dillon) progressive, this article can help you load more efficiently and produce better results. Here are some highlights:

Proper Brass Prep
Just like a good paint job requires good prep work, great rifle ammo requires good brass prep. In order to make sure your rifle loading goes smoothly, make sure to perform the following brass prep steps:

  • Clean the brass (tumble, ultrasonic, etc.)
  • Inspect brass for cracks, deep dents, etc.
  • For military brass: de-prime, ream/swage primer pockets, size with small-base sizer die (small base usually optional).
  • Measure brass length — if too long, size and then trim.
  • Final inspection before loading.
  • Cleaning primer pockets may be something you’ll consider (I don’t clean primer pockets except for rare cases or match ammo).

Smooth and Steady Pace
Since you’re loading rifle ammunition on a progressive, you’re already saving a load of time, so there’s no need to rush things! Attention to detail is super-important for safety and for good results. Always keep an eye on powder level (goes down FAST) and what’s happening at each station.

The Right Press and Press Setup
Look for a heavy-duty, well-built press that will stand up to rifle loading. You’ll also want to make sure your powder measure will have the proper capacity (~25 grains for .223, ~50 grains for 308). If you are bulk reloading, ensure you have enough stations for sizing, charging, powder check, bullet feed, bullet seating, and (optional) bullet crimp.

More Ultimate Reloader Resources for Users of Progressive Presses:

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Reloading Post comment »
September 28th, 2014

Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P Pistols

M&P smith wesson ported pistol 9mm .40sw

Smith & Wesson is introducing a new series of ported M&P pistols. Chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W, the Performance Center M&P Ported pistols offer a factory-ported barrel and slide. Both 4.25″ and 5″ barrel configurations are offered in each caliber. A special Performance Center sear provides a crisp 4.5-pound trigger pull with faster reset. The 9mm pistol has a 17+1 round capacity while the .40 S&W variant features a 15+1 round capacity. Both handguns (9mm and 40 S&W) have an MSRP of $812 with two magazines.

The ported design should help competitors, says pistol ace Jerry Miculek: “The two biggest advantages of running a ported gun in competition involve reduced muzzle rise and less perceived recoil. This [will] help with shorter split times and more rounds on target — two things every competitor wants.”

M&P smith wesson ported pistol 9mm .40sw

The new ported M&P pistols feature a slide-top platform for easy mounting of red-dot optics. These guns also have high-profile iron sights that can be used in conjunction with the optics. The M&P Performance Center Ported models also feature a textured interchangeable back strap. Three palmswell grips are supplied with each pistol, allowing shooters to custom-tailor grip size to their preference.

M&P smith wesson ported pistol 9mm .40sw

Video Shows Ported Pistol Features and 3D CAD Views:

Permalink Handguns, New Product Post comment »
September 28th, 2014

Tech Tip: Coping with Corrosive Ammo

corrosive ammunition ammo BrownellsNo doubt you’ve heard the term “corrosive” used with respect to ammunition. But what exactly is “corrosive ammunition” (and how does it different from non-corrosive ammo)? What is the chemistry that leads to corrosion, and what cleaning procedures should you follow if you shoot corrosive ammunition? Brownells has come up with answers to these and other questions in a helpful TECH TIP video about corrosive ammo.

In this informative video, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains the primer-related chemistry that makes some ammo corrosive. The video then reviews suggested cleaning procedures you should follow after you have fired corrosive ammo through any firearms.

What Is “Corrosive” Ammunition?
What makes ammo “corrosive”? Generally speaking, primers are the problem. When corrosive ammunition is fired, the ignited primers leave a residue of corrosive salts. Typically these primers contain potassium chlorate, or sodium petrochlorate which, when burned, change into potassium chloride or sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is also known as common table salt.

Potassium chloride and sodium chloride are both very hygroscopic (i.e. they attract water). Because of that, these alkalis are rust generators. When exposed to the hydrogen and oxygen in the air (and moisture) potassium chloride and sodium chloride can form an acid that quickly causes metal rifle parts to rust and pit.

Given a choice, you may wish to avoid corrosive ammo altogether. However, for some types of fire-arms, particularly older military-style rifles, the most affordable ammunition may be corrosive. If you choose to use corrosive ammo, it is important to clean the gun thoroughly after use. After firing, you want to use an element that will neutralize the primer salts. Brownells suggests a water soak (see video above). Alternatively, Windex with ammonia can help neutralize the salts, but that doesn’t finish the job. After the salts have been neutralized and flushed away, basic anti-corrosion protectant (such as Eezox or other gun oil) should be applied to all metal parts.

To learn more about the proper procedures for cleaning rifles exposed to corrosive ammo, we suggest an article by Paul Markel on Ammoland.com. Markel, host of the popular Student of the Gun TV series, states that: “Windex (with ammonia) is the Corrosive Ammo shooter’s best friend. After you are done shooting your corrosive ammunition for the day, squirt the window cleaner liberally from the chamber down the barrel. Pull the bolt / bolt carrier / op rod if there is one and douse them as well. A couple of old cotton t-shirts will come in handy. A cotton barrel swab is a nice accessory but you can make do with patches. Some folks will rinse all of the ammonia and loosened corrosive salts off with hot water. Others prefer to wipe it all down and let the ammonia evaporate. Either way, once the corrosive salts have been tackled with the window cleaner, it is time for an all-purpose brush (old toothbrush) and some gun oil.” READ Full Article by Paul Markel.

AK-74 after firing corrosive ammo and not being cleaned for a week.
Corrosive Ammo ammunition
Image courtesy ADCOFirearms.com.

Video Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Tech Tip Post comment »
September 28th, 2014

Find and Download MIL-STD Spec Sheets for FREE

Looking for authentic U.S. Military Specification Standards (MIL-STD) for gun parts, safety products, or other hardware? Log on to EverySpec.com. This website provides FREE access to the complete archive of U.S. Government spec sheets and technical manuals. You can quickly access and download thousands of public domain U.S. Government documents. For example, we searched for “Picatinny” and came up with MIL-STD-1913 “Dimensioning of Accessory Mounting Rail for Small Arms Weapons”. With one click we downloaded the file as a PDF. Then a search for “M118″ yielded the engineering drawing for 7.62×51 M118 LR Match ammo. Pretty cool.

Using EverySpec.com is fast and easy. And everything you find and save is FREE. Search as often as you like — there are no limits on search requests or downloads. You can either search by keyword, or Federal Supply Class Code (FSC). CLICK HERE for a complete list of FSCs for all products.

Here are FSCs for a few common product types. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of other FSCs — for everything from Office Supplies (FSC 7510) to Nuclear Projectiles (FSC 1110).

1095 — Miscellaneous Weapons (incl. Knives)
1240 — Optical Sighting and Ranging Equipment
1395 — Miscellaneous Ammunition (incl. Small Arms)
3455 — Cutting Tools for Machine Tools
6140 — Batteries, Rechargeable
6230 — Electric Portable Lighting Equipment
7640 — Maps, Atlases, Charts and Globes
8340 — Tents and Tarpaulins
8405 — Outerwear, Mens

Credit Gunsmith Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzales for finding this resource. Thanks Speedy!
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 1 Comment »